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Monday, March 21, 2011

Lloyd Oliver, one of the Navajo Code Talkers, has just passed away, leaving only one more of the original 29. Read more in Yahoo! News. Please also visit
the official Code Talkers site. These Native American heroes dumbfounded the Nazis by creating a secret code based on the Navajo language.

Google News: Code Talkers.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Discovering Texas Tales.

My West Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories has received another four-star review at GoodReads.

Read the reviews of TAS at Kirkus, Amazon.Com, GoodReads, bn.com (2nd edition), and bn.com (1st edition).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Writing Sons of Taldra, back when I called it Worried

Writing a novel, Part 2: the sequel to Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.

I just combined Chapters 24 and 25 of Worried. The scenes in that newly combined chapter set up the nonstop action that carries readers through the rest of the novel. Contrasted pacing has been an important part of Worried, with quiet scenes often set between action scenes, light scenes between darker ones, and romance between tragedy. That counterbalance keeps adding to the intensity. It also makes the reading more unpredictable.

Earlier this week, I added a new scene, with one of the minor characters reflecting on some of the more disturbing elements within the storylines, while also finding comfort in the arms of a friend. Sometimes, I find a need to add or expand scenes, because—as a reader—I often wonder about the responses and impacts of certain events on the characters. These scenes can connect the characters, events, emotions, etc. to each other. It helps make the story more involving and run more smoothly. Connections seam the narrative together and keep it cohesive.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Writing a novel: the sequel to Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.

I’m still revising Worried and will probably continue for most of 2011. Worried is my first novel to write from scratch. The others started as short stories that I kept expanding over the years.

After starting with an outline, I wrote Worried’s thirty-three chapters over the past few years. Of course, the final version might contain more or less chapters.

I hand wrote each chapter, later revising them as I typed them. Revisions of each chapter continued, between writing new chapters.

With all of them finished, I went back and added more scenes. One conflict, for example, ended too quickly, so I rewrote that scene. Leaving the resolution incomplete led to new scenes that, I think, provide some of the novel’s most exciting moments.

Worried’s final chapters strayed from the outline, as I knew they might. Some of the relationships between characters also developed in ways other than what I had imagined. I stay open to possibilities. An outline provides a helpful roadmap, but it can always go in the glove compartment—or out the window—in favor of something better.


Other revisions from here largely involve word choice, clarification, and description. They also stress consistency with the novel’s brief timeline, and with the first book in the series.

Will there be more in the series? I would like to write at least one more. I love these characters, and this new book develops them much more, making me want to explore what happens to them next. I might think I know, but I won’t find out until I write it.

For more, see Chapter 1 Draft at Goodreads and Worried Teaser, Spoiler Alert.

Click on the Worried tag below, to read more about writing Worried.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Native American First Nation Men. From Letstalkaboutstuff: "Just a tribute and awareness vid to Native American First Nation men who are very talented actors. It would be nice to see them in even more films."

The video's description page includes several links for learning more about the actors.